China’s Hailiang JIA and Xiujuan YANG competing in the SKUD18 ©Xinhua
After the opening two days in Qingdao four races have been completed across all three Paralympic events as scheduled. France, Great Britain and Norway lead the overall standings after the breeze picked up on the second day of racing at the IFDS Qingdao International Regatta.
Amongst the nine competing two-person keelboat SKUD 18s, Britain's Niki Birrell and Alexandra Rickam hold a narrow overall lead following 3, 5, 1, 1 scores.
2004 Paralympic gold medallist Damien Seguin of France leads the 12-strong one-person keelboat 2.4 Metre fleet after a dominant start that looks ominous for his rivals. The Frenchman, who won the 2007 IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship in Rochester and was recently runaway winner at the Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères, opened his account with a third place before a trio of bullets propelled him into an seven-point overall lead.
It’s similarly tight amongst the three-person keelboat Sonars, with Jostein Stordahl, Aleksander Wang-Hansen and Per Eugen Kristiansen from Norway holding a three-point overall lead in the 12-boat fleet.
Over 6,000 spectators watched the opening day of racing on course area A, whilst Monday brought the sun and a little more breeze, with the wind picking up to 13-14 knots.
The IFDS Qingdao International Regatta is being held at the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Centre and provides an ideal opportunity for competitors, coaches and organizers to test the conditions, facilities and processes in place for the 2008 Paralympic Sailing Competition.
A total of nine races are scheduled, with racing continuing through until 15 May.
For more on the Paralympic Games go to www.sailing.org/paralympics
IFDS Qingdao International Regatta - www.2008ifdsqdregatta.com
ISAF Disabled Sailing microsite - www.sailing.org/disabled